I am interested in what you think

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2003
I am interested in what you think
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 12:12pm
Here is the short version of the story. I think I might have told some of the story elsewhere on here.

My son and his ex and their daughter lived together for some years. About 4 years ago, the mother started going off on trips to Chile. Her parents came from there but she was born here. Anyway, first the trips were two months and then extended to 3 months and last October she left for a year or so. It turned out she had a boyfriend in Chile - in a very small city. She came back for 3 weeks or a month in May and then left again, the story was she was getting married. My granddaughter did not hear from her until about 3 weeks ago and that was on MSN. My granddaughter said her Mom said she was coming back but she didn't believe her. She never turned up on the date she said, so my granddaughter was right.

My son has been there for his daughter since the day she was born, whereas the mother was always off out with her friends and constantly lets my granddaughter down. She will make plans with her and then at the last minute if something more appealing comes up, like coffee with a friend, she will cancel her plans with my granddaughter, which understandably upsets my granddaughter no end. Then she goes off for a year - her choice! Nobody made her go. Nobody made her sell her car. Nobody made her spend all her money and come back broke.

My granddaughter is now 10. Although when her Mom is gone its kind of out of sight out of mind, and she will make comments like "My Mom was stupid to sell her car. She must have known she would need it again." When her Mom was back for those few weeks, she stuck up for her Mom and made a fuss if my son wouldn't give her Mom money etc. etc. One day she told me "my Dad is the most important person in my whole life" I said, well then, why did you stick up for your Mom and not your Dad? And she said "it was becuase I knew she was going away again."

My theory is - what goes around comes around - my son and I are both furious that she would treat her daughter like this. Going away and not bothering to phone or get in touch. I suppose its kind of vindictive of me, but I honestly hope and think that when my granddaughter gets a bit older, she will see her mother for the selfish person she is and her mother by her behaviour will have burnt her bridges with her daughter. Or do you suppose that when (and if) her mother ever shows up again, she will forget about how she treats her and act like she never went away??

Anybody have any experience with this kind of thing?

Avatar for stacy257
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2003
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 12:53pm
Hi Liz. I have had a similar experience with my oldest brother. He and his first wife have a son (who is now 19.) But my brother divorced his wife when the child was about 6 years old. My brother never went around. Never paid child support. Always broke promises to see his son. To make a long story short, from what I saw of my nephew, he was deeply hurt BUT deeply loved his dad. Go figure! It is something in children that is very forgiving and that is why your granddaughter will continue to defend her mother. But as she gets older she will be able to see her mom as she truly is, which will be painful for her. So I just think you should be there for her and try to be positive.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2003
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 1:16pm
My parents divorced when I was 3, and my father did the absolute bare minimum. He did some very mean things which is pointless to talk about, and it's in the past. But basically it was all money related, and him not caring for what did not have. My sister and I cannot forgive him for this. We have a very strained relationship with him. I can see him for who he is, a bitter depressed man who would rather sit outside and stare at the sky than try to have a relationship with his two daughters. He also has four other children whom in my opinion have a worser view of him than I do. He barely even knows one of his children as he did not see her at all for the first five years of her life. He wonders why his kids never go to see him!

I honestly think your granddaughter just wants to get to know her mom any way possible, and she does deserve this. She needs to know exactly how she is, but apprently she cannot do this without help from your son. That is a shame.

Good Luck!


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2003
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 7:37pm
I am not sure what you mean. If you are saying my son should make his ex appear in the best light to his daughter, he more or less does that. He doesnt run her down, except that when she comes back after being away for 8 months and wants him to buy her stuff, then he does say things like "why should I be buying stuff for your Mom - it was her choice to spend all her money" stuff like that.

If you are saying that he should show his ex in her true light, then I don't really think that is necessary. My granddaughter knows what her Mom is like, even though she will stick up for her. I have heard that children with an irresponsible parent will often take responsibility for the parent - like as if the child is the parent and not the parent - if you see what I mean.

My son does not need to run down his ex to his daughter and he also realizes that if he was to make rude remarks, his daughter might well repeat them to her mother and this will just cause arguments, and also my granddaughter might be upset that he made them. So he says nothing against her. My granddaughter did tell me that her Dad was mad at her Mom for upsetting her and for going away and not phoning her. I told her that I don't dislike her Mom, but I do dislike the way she behaves towards her own daughter.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 09-03-2003 - 10:53am
Oh yeah, I have plenty of experience, and you are right. My SD was 13 when her mom abandoned her and DH. Her mom used SD to get to DH and vice versa. We had custody of SD and her mom lived(s) 2,000 miles away. You are actually lucky that your GDD has very little contact with her mom. Life was hell with SD for many years, and her mom only fed into the problem. She loved to stir the pot. SD always stuck up for her mom and believed her lies, but gradually began to see things the way they were. DH and I slowly let the facts come out in regular conversation. Things did get gradually better. When she was a senior, she became human. Even so, her graduation was all about her mom even though her mom never saw her in any sporting event, band concert, or sholastic event. She never went to teacher conferences, car pooled, or volunteered for anything. She didn't know SD's teachers, coaches, friends, or their parents, or even SD's boyfriend's parents. I was the one on my knees in a puddle of water holding SD's hand and stroking her forehead after a bad fall in soccor as we waited for the ambulance cursing her mother for not being there when SD needed her most. DH was sure that SD would go to college close to her mom, but I knew that DH was SD's center and we were her family no matter how much she denied it. Sure enough, she is a sophomore in the same college that DH teaches at. She lives about three blocks away from us, and calls just to talk to me. I give her advice on how to deal with her mom. We actually see her more now than when she lived at home. SD knows that she can count on us being there for her no matter what and no strings attached.

Yes, there is hope. The one thing that I know we did right, was to get SD into counseling at crucial time in her life. The counselor gave her the tools to deal with her mom abandonment/loyalty issues. She told me the other day that her mom never really has been a mom to her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2003
Wed, 09-03-2003 - 1:25pm
Let me explain further. I was responding to the last paragraph, "I suppose its kind of vindictive of me, but I honestly hope and think that when my granddaughter gets a bit older, she will see her mother for the selfish person she is and her mother by her behaviour will have burnt her bridges with her daughter. Or do you suppose that when (and if) her mother ever shows up again, she will forget about how she treats her and act like she never went away??"

I don't know anything about the money issue, if the mother has money to fly to and from Chile, she should have money for temporary living in the town, but who kows!!! If your son does not have to give money to the mother, then he should just stop. I wasn't trying to respond to this issue.

I was responding to the fact that the more your granddaughter knows about her mother, the better decision she can make about what kind of mother she is. She needs to come to this conclusion all on her own. If there is constant bad talk about the mother, the granddaughter might feel this is unjust, and feel bad about her mother and try to protect her (the so called child parenting the mother). It sounds as if your granddaughter already has an idea of what kind of mother she has, but she wants to know more.

I was trying to relate my story to you where my father was very distant, but I still visited him every now and then, and it is because of these visits that I truly got to know him, and I see him for the kind of person he is (a bad father).

Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 09-03-2003 - 9:50pm
This girl must be related to Dr. Phil. She doesn't love your son or her daughter. Yes, that's vindictive. If I were your son, I'd file for divorce and give her NOTHING. Dr. Phil gave his wife $5 for five years they were married, because she never worked. Sounds to me that your DIL never worked either, she just love going on vacations, spending her DH's money, selling her car. I feel so sorry for the little one, who knows too much about her mom's whereabouts. I wish your son luck and hope he find someone who will love him and his daughter. ALSO: she shouldn't have custody! Trying not to be mean: but I think he should kick all her belongings to the curb, with the divorce papers greeting her on her return. lol
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2003
Wed, 09-03-2003 - 9:58pm
Yes Danielle, I agree with you. I think you just tell the truth and don't bad mouth the mother. And no, she has no money. She borrowed the money from a finance company to go back to Chile. It obviously doesnt bother her that she isnt paying the money back! And luckily, my son is not married to her.